Double Injury Boost For Battered Bluebirds
Cardiff City have been handed a timely boost ahead of Sunday's Severnside derby against Bristol City with the return from injury of two hugely important figues.
Jay Bothroyd suffered a hamstring injury moments after hitting a sublime effort against Doncaster Rovers. He limped off to be replaced by Eddie Johnson and missed the midweek defeat at Norwich City. Jay is expected to return to the starting line-up and will re-form his promising partnership with Michael Chopra.
Another returning player is full-back Kevin McNaughton. He pulled up in pain during the 3-1 win over Barnsley, looking to be holding his hamstring. however, the pain appears to have been caused by a back problem putting extra pressure on his hamstring and after missing two games - McNaughton is ready for a comeback.
The importance of these two players cannot be underestimated for the Bluebirds. Bothroyd is a powerful presence and we really miss his aerial threat and footballing qualities in attack - of all our players, perhaps Bothroyd is the most important to the style of football we play.
Every side in the division would love to have a player as committed, determined and consistent as Kevin McNaughton. His work-rate is exemplary while he is a steady presence at the back. The likes of Peter Whittingham are not ideally suited to tracking back and providing cover for the full-back but with McNaughton on our right flank, we seem able to cope. Darcy Blake and Miguel Comminges have provided cover recently but neither comes close to the contibution we see every week from McNaughton.
The reutrn of both players is a big boost to Cardiff city as we face an important and challenging game. A defeat would seriously dent our promotion hopes and allow the fellow play-off chasers to catch us up, bringing us into the pack and adding more pressure.